Former Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos running back Clinton Portis is among several former NFL players who are facing federal charges in an alleged scheme to defraud the league’s health care program for retired players.
Portis, Carlos Rogers, Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Ceandris Brown, James Butler, Frederick Bennett, Correll Buckhalter and Etric Pruitt are among the players charged by the Justice Department. The government said it is also intending to charge former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn and Reche Caldwell with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
The scheme targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan for reimbursement, which was established in 2006 to provide tax-free reimbursement of medical expenses that were not covered by insurance and that were incurred by former players, their wives and any dependents.
Court papers allege Portis and the other players submitted claims to be reimbursed for expensive medical equipment, but prosecutors allege they had never purchased or received the medical equipment. They would fabricate prescriptions and invoices to support while recruiting others to make false claims in exchange for payments of up to $10,000.
According to the indictment, the claims filed between June 2017 and December 2018 totaled $3.9 million and the health care plan paid out more than $3.4 million.
“Ten former NFL players allegedly committed a brazen, multimillion dollar fraud on a health care plan meant to help their former teammates and other retired players pay legitimate, out-of-pocket medical expenses,” assistant attorney general Brian Benczkowski said. “Today’s indictments underscore that whoever you are, if you loot health care programs to line your own pockets, you will be held accountable by the Department of Justice.”
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